Alternative History
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Great Korean Empire
대한제국
大韩帝国
Timeline: Differently
Flag Imperial Seal
Motto: 
광명천지
"Let the land be enlightened"
Anthem: 
대한제국 애국가
"Patriotic Song of the Great Korean Empire"

Location of Korea in East Asia
Capital
(and largest city)
Seoul
Official languages Korean
Religion Buddhism, Christianity, Sinhism
Government Unitary constitutional monarchy
 -  Emperor Won
 -  Prime Minister Mun Jae-Yin
Establishment
 -  Empire proclaimed 13 October 1897 
Area
 -  Total 219,155 km2 
84,616 sq mi 
Population
 -   estimate 76,814,821 
Currency Won

Korea (Korean: Hanguk), officially the Great Korean Empire ( Daehan Jeguk), is a country in East Asia located in the Korean Peninsula. It is bordered by China to the north and Russia to the northeast and bounded by the Sea of Japan on the east and the Yellow Sea on the west.

With a population of over 76 million inhabitants, Korea is the 10th-most populous country in Asia and the 21st in the world. Its surface area of 219,155 square kilometers makes Asia's 18th- and the world's 73rd-largest country.

The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time (from 37 BC to 668 AD), ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia under Gwanggaeto the Great. Its capital, Seoul, is a major global city and a third of Korea's over 76 million people live in the Seoul Capital Area, one of the largest metropolitan economies in the world. Other important cities include Busan, Incheon, Pyongyang and Daegu.

The country is one of the most advanced democracies with the highest level of press freedom in Asia. Korea is a highly developed country and the world's 15th-largest economy by nominal GDP. Its citizens enjoy the world's fastest Internet connection speeds along with an excellent healthcare system, resulting in the third highest health adjusted life expectancy in the world.

History

The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BC. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea into Silla and Balhae in the late 7th century, Korea was ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897).

The modern Korean Empire was founded in October 1897 by Emperor Gojong of the Joseon dynasty, after China won the Sino-Japanese War (1894–97) disputed with Japan over influence in Korea. The Chinese victory prevented Japanese annexation of Korea, after which Emperor Gojong oversaw the Gwangmu Reform, a partial modernization and Westernization of the military, economy, land system, and education system, and of various industries.

Administrative divisions

Name Historical Province Population Area
(km²)
Capital/
City Seat
English Hangul Hanja
North Chungcheong 충청북도 忠淸北道 Chungcheong 1,588,633 7,433 Cheongju
South Chungcheong 충청남도 忠淸南道 2,064,665 8,204 Hongseong
Daejeon 대전광역시 大田廣域市 1,525,849 539.35 Seo
Sejong 세종특별자치시 世宗特別自治市 276,589 465.23 Boram-dong
Gyeonggi 경기도 京畿道 Gyeonggi 12,239,862 10,171 Suwon
Incheon 인천광역시 仁川廣域市 1,062.60 2,753.59 Namdong
Seoul 서울특별시 首尔特別市 3,416,918 769.89 Jung
Gangwon 강원도 江原道 Gangwon 3,027,362 31,660 Chuncheon
Busan 부산광역시 釜山廣域市 Gyeongsang 3,416,918 769.89 Yeonje
Daegu 대구광역시 大邱廣域市 2,453,041 883.56 Jung
North Gyeongsang 경상북도 慶尙北道 2,739,179 19,030 Andong
South Gyeongsang 경상남도 慶尙南道 3,374,725 10,532 Changwon
Ulsan 울산광역시 蔚山廣域市 1,157,077 1,060.79 Nam
North Hamgyeong 함경북도 咸鏡北道 Hamgyeong 2,327,362 15,980 Cheongjin
South Hamgyeong 함경남도 咸鏡南道 3,066,013 18,534 Hamheung
Naseon 나선특별시 羅先特別市 205,000 746 Rajin
Yanggang 양강도 兩江道 719,269 13,880 Hyesan
North Hwanghae 황해북도 黃海北道 Hwanghae 2,113,672 8,153.7 Sariwon
South Hwanghae 황해남도 黃海南道 2,310,485 8,450.3 Haeju
Kaesong 개성특별시 開城特別市 308,440 1,309 N/A
Gwangju 광주광역시 光州廣域市 Jeolla 1,496,172 501.24 Seo
North Jeolla 전라북도 全羅北道 1,895,882 8,043 Jeonju
South Jeolla 전라남도 全羅南道 1,938,136 11,858 Muan
Jeju 제주특별자치도 濟州特別自治道 583,284 1,849 Jeju City
North Pyeongan 평안북도 平安北道 Pyeongan 2,728,662 12,680.3 Sinuiju
South Pyeongan 평안남도 平安南道 4,051,696 11,890.6 Pyeongseong
Jagan 자강도 慈江道 1,299,830 16,765 Ganggye
Nampo 남포특별시 南浦特別市 366,815 829 Waudo
Pyeongan City 평양특별시 平壤特別市 3,255,388 3,194 Jung